World News in Brief: October 6

The prospect of an early election loomed in Malaysia as Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said he could propose a date for the dissolution of parliament during a regular meeting on Thursday with the country's monarch, state media said.
Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless from the United States and Morten Meldal from Denmark shared the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.
Carolyn R. Bertozzi and K. Barry Sharpless from the United States and Morten Meldal from Denmark shared the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.

* A mass shooting at a childcare center on Thursday in northeast Thailand's Nong Bua Lamphu province has killed at least 36 people, including 24 children, local authorities said.

* Malaysia has officially ratified the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Ministry of International Trade and Industry said on Wednesday.

* The visit to New Zealand by the Indian foreign minister provides an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the two countries in areas like people-to-people exchanges and climate action, New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said on Thursday.

* The Lao Ministry of Health has set a target for more than 80 percent, ideally 100 percent, of children aged 6-11 to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2022.

* The Kremlin said on Thursday that it was preparing to welcome the head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to Moscow soon.

* Japan has not yet reached an agreement to co-chair a debt summit with Sri Lanka's creditors, a government official in Tokyo said on Thursday, as the island nation struggles to find a way out of a crippling economic crisis.

* Russia was informed via diplomatic channels that there were no plans to invite Moscow to join an investigation into Nord Stream gas leaks, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

* Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Wednesday he held a phone conversation with Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg to discuss Ukraine's Euro-Atlantic integration.

* The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group known as OPEC+, on Wednesday announced a major production cut of 2 million barrels per day (bpd) starting November to bolster oil prices that have recently tumbled over recession fears.

* The decision of the OPEC+ group of leading oil producers to reduce output by 2 million barrels per day is aimed at market stabilisation, a Kremlin spokesman said on Thursday.

* Germany's Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck on Wednesday criticized the "excessive" gas prices charged by "friendly" supplier countries, such as the United States.

* Poland is open to hosting nuclear weapons under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) nuclear sharing arrangements and has been in talks with the United States on the issue, the country's President Andrzej Duda has said.

* After months of speculation, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Wednesday finally called a general election in Denmark for Nov. 1, 2022.

* Spain and Portugal confirmed on Wednesday that they will include Ukraine in their bid to host the 2030 World Cup finals. The Spanish and Portuguese Prime Ministers Pedro Sanchez and Antonio Costa confirmed the decision with tweets on Wednesday afternoon.

* Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul-Gheit voiced deep concerns over the recent remarks by British Prime Minister Liz Truss about planning to move the country's embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the pan-Arab body said on Wednesday.

* Lebanon and Israel are closer than ever to signing a deal demarcating their maritime border, opening the door to new oil and gas exploration, after years of US-brokered negotiations.

* World trade is expected to lose momentum in the second half of 2022 and remain subdued in 2023, as multiple shocks weigh on the global economy, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in a statement on Wednesday.

* The US services sector posted slower growth in September than the previous month amid cooling economic growth, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported Wednesday.

* The International Monetary Fund should issue $650 billion in new emergency reserves to help its member countries grapple with overlapping health, food, energy and inflation crises, 140 civil society groups said in a letter to the IMF's board on Thursday.

* The unemployment rate in the Philippines went up to 5.3 percent in August, compared to the previous month's record of 5.2 percent, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Thursday.

* The Czech Republic and Qatar signed on Wednesday an agreement on economic cooperation and, pending approval by the European Commission, agreed to sign an agreement on investment protection.

* Malta has spent more than 1.6 billion euros (1.58 billion US dollars) on support measures since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020, the country's Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said on Wednesday.

* Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Mykhailo Podolyak said that Kiev is holding talks over the extension of a key grain exports deal, which expires next month, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported Wednesday.

* France's strategic gas reserves are now over 99 percent full, the highest level reached in recent years, France's Commission for Energy Regulation (CRE) said in a statement on Wednesday.

* Ratings agency Fitch lowered the outlook for its credit rating for British government debt to "negative" from "stable" on Wednesday, days after a similar move from rival Standard & Poor's following the government's Sept. 23 fiscal statement.

* French President Emmanuel Macron's government on Thursday announced sector-by-sector energy saving measures designed to avoid outages or shortfalls in gas supplies this winter while also helping to hit longer-term targets to fight climate change.

* Poland's prime minister has raised the country's security level on energy infrastructure outside its borders, the government's security center said on Thursday.

* South Africa has submitted an investment plan to donors who have pledged $8.5 billion to accelerate the country's transition to renewable energy that could serve as a model for other emerging economies, two sources familiar with the matter said.

* Israel's aggressive interest rate hiking cycle aimed at lowering inflation was at a "well advanced" stage, Bank of Israel Governor Amir Yaron said, with price pressures starting to ease and inflation hopefully moving back into its target range next year.

* The number of unemployed persons in Slovenia fell to its lowest level since the country's independence in 1991, the Employment Service of Slovenia reported on Wednesday.

* The number of Europeans reporting "bad" or "very bad" mental health soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, even beyond the end of lockdowns, new polling showed on Thursday.

* The number of occupations facing skills shortages in Australia almost doubled in the past year, according to a government report.

* South Africa's freight and rail operator Transnet on Thursday said workers had started an open-ended strike across its operations as result of a wage dispute with two major unions, in a move that could hurt key exports, including minerals.

* Attackers killed 18 people on Wednesday when they opened fire in a city hall in San Miguel Totolapan, a town in southern Mexico, Mexican daily El Universal reported on Thursday.

* New Zealand confirmed the first two community transmission cases of monkeypox on Thursday, bringing the total case number to 11.

* The death toll from Hurricane Ian in the United States has exceeded 110, while hundreds of thousands of customers remain without power.

* Sydney recorded its wettest year in 164 years as authorities braced for major floods in Australia's east on Thursday, with more heavy downpours expected to fall over the next three days.

* At least 16 women migrants and one boy died when their vessel sank off the Greek island of Lesbos early on Thursday, in the second maritime disaster involving refugees in the Aegean Sea in under a day, the country's coastguard said.

* Eight people died after flash floods hit a river in India's eastern state of West Bengal on Wednesday in the latest incident of heavy seasonal rain causing havoc in South Asia.

VNA, Reuters, Xinhua